The shepherd (Song 1:7-1:7)

Female lover

“Tell me!

You whom my soul loves!

Where do you pasture your flock?

Where do you make it lie down at noon?

Why should I be like a veiled woman?

Why cannot I be beside

The flocks of your companions?”

This female lover now talks about a shepherd who was guarding his flock. Once again, this may be an allegory for Yahweh the good shepherd. She wanted to know where he was pasturing his flock. She was going around as a veiled woman while he was with his companions, the other shepherds. Thus there was a change from a king to a shepherd.

Judah over Joseph (Ps 78:67-78:72)

“He rejected the tent of Joseph.

He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.

But he chose the tribe of Judah.

He loves Mount Zion.

He built his sanctuary

Like the high heavens,

Like the earth,

Which he has founded forever.

He chose his servant David.

He took him from the sheepfolds.

He brought him from tending the nursing ewes.

He made him the shepherd of his people Jacob.

He made him his inheritance of Israel.

With upright heart,

He tended them.

He guided them with skilful hand.”

This psalm ends with God choosing the sons of Judah over the sons of Joseph. He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but the tribe of Judah. He loved Mount Zion. Thus he built his sanctuary there just like the high heavens and the earth that he had founded. He chose his servant David when he was nursing the young sheep. He made him the shepherd of his people, Jacob not Israel. His inheritance was Israel. He tended and guided them with an upright heart and a skilful hand.